Red Mist On White Ice -- 517 Yard Coyote On Yellowstone River

Discussion in 'Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards' started by Len Backus, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    This past Saturday I was hunting with my new friends, Cory and Dave, near Sydney, Montana. That morning we had had a good day so far, called a bunch and killed a couple. Spectacular country. I just love it out there.

    We were on a ranch road 20 yards from a shear bluff that was 100 feet above the river. They knew a little about long range hunting and were curious. They also knew I really was hoping for a 500 yard shot on this trip.

    Suddenly Dave said, "Len, there's your 500 yard shot".

    We jumped out of the truck and headed to the edge of the bluff. I got set up as Dave was spotting for me. The river was frozen. Just off to the right from a large island was a tiny sand bar surrounded by ice. It was about 30 yards long and 5 to 10 feet wide.

    On it was a coyote who seemed to be mousing.I fumbled a bit to find him in my 20 power scope as Dave said the coyote had moved slightly off the sandbar away from us. I ranged it as 517 yards. The G7 rangefinder told me the elevation needed was 8.1 MOA. The wind was in my face.

    I squeezed the trigger and saw the coyote go down, hit hard. The Montana boys seemed pretty impressed and I was pretty happy. Dave said that in his binoculars he could see a red mist when the bullet exited.

    After a few high fives we noticed the coyote was still alive.

    I said "I'll shoot it again".

    Cory said "if you can hit it again I'll be pretty amazed".

    So I shot it again. gun) And he seemed pretty amazed.

    So far it was a pretty neat experience but then....

    After my second shot about a thousand geese took off and circled our position. Meanwhile the first of 3 more coyotes individually appeared from 3 different directions. The boys took a few running shots at them hundreds of yards off down below on the ice and I even took one unsuccessful shot at one.

    Quite a crazy mental picture.... gun)
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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  2. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    The next morning by myself I hiked mostly and hunted a little on a different property. I am posting the picture below for the benefit of Cory and Dave as they may want to get into long range hunting.

    I took a few shots at a sandstone formation that was 1,085 yards from me in a pretty stiff wind. I held almost 29 feet (can't quite remember the number) above the hole that is shown where I stuffed my glove in afterwards for scale. For my first shot I held 3 minutes of wind compensation (about 32 inches) to the right. That wasn't enough. If you look carefully you can see that bullet hole just off to the left in that shadow. Then I held one more minute of wind, another 10 inches or so and fired the 2 shots to the right. The 3 shot group is about 6 inches low. I need to validate my trajectory out that far. Or more likely simply re-check my 100 yard zero, which I did not do when I arrived in MT.

    I would never shoot at big game in that much wind at that distance. But I think it is interesting for you guys, Cory and Dave, to see what kind of groups can be shot at that distance and in that much wind. Better shooters would do much better than I ever could.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012

  3. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    Nice shot! Sounds like great fun! Beautiful country! Where's the snow?
     
  4. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Good pictures Thank's!
     
  5. Big Sky

    Big Sky <b>SPONSOR</b>

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    Does my heart good seeing my friends have a good time together. That is one hunt I would have liked to have been on. Still managed to call in a yote or two over here that weekend as well. Looks like you guys had a great time. Man, a relatively warm and snowless winter is nearly unheard of out there this time of year.
     
  6. Sendero_Man

    Sendero_Man <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    Congrats Len....
     
  7. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Time well spent! Nice post Len.
     
  8. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    I get to drive through & work around the Sidney area quite a bit in my travels. It is very beautiful country, great shot Len, I particularly like the thread title. :D
     
  9. earlybird

    earlybird Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the pics of the long range shooting on Sunday Len. I will show them to Dave. I am going to play with the long range stuff seriously in the next year. My custom gun that is coming should be just the ticket for it. Look forward to hunting with you again in the future.
     
  10. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Cory

    When I come back for prairie dogs we can shoot long together. gun)
     
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    looks like fun to me Len. nice shootin

    Jeff
     
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Nice job, Len. Thanks for taking the time to share the story with us. Jon
     
  13. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Len, any pics of that sandstone from the shooting location?

    Jeff
     
  14. Partagas

    Partagas Active Member

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    What rifle and loads where you using:?